Following End of Days and The Sixth Day, Collateral Damage
is Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest attempt to revive his flagging career as an
action star. A terrorist/revenge thriller delayed because of the events of September
11 last year, the film has met with generally disappointing reviews, and if
it all plays down to the standard of the music on this hollow album I can not
say I am surprised. After such unmitigated mediocrity as the scores to Pitch
Black and, Frank Herbert's Dune this finds Revell going through the
motions for more uninspired, electronic rhythm patterns, here accompanied by
the most generic of orchestral suspense/action riffing. It is the sort of thing
anyone familiar with a midi/sampler set-up can knock up in a few hours. Revell
just happens to replace the samples with real musicians.
Indeed a large orchestra is credited right down to the last player, but Revell
gives them naught beyond finger exercises. This is the action movie scoring
equivalent of painting by numbers, and there is nothing here anyone has not
heard untold times before. Nothing sticks in the memory, not even the threadbare
attempts at melodic material.
It would be execrable on a weekly cable TV show. As the score to a big budget
would-be blockbuster release it beggars belief that any director, producer or
studio could find it acceptable. How this man retains gainful employment on
major features in the face of competition from many immensely talented yet shamefully
overlooked composers becomes more of a mystery with each score he completes.
Should anyone complain this isn't a review of the album but one long complaint
against the composer, well, I've played the disc three times and I can't remember
anything about it beyond what I've mentioned. If I played it three more times
I doubt I'd remember any more. The only collateral damage is to the wallet of
anyone who makes the mistake of buying it.
Gary S. Dalkin